I also hope we can refrain from religion bashing in this thread
Definitely. There's a difference between religion and fanatical behavior. You can have one without the other. In this case, the fanatics are religious... but, that doesn't reflect on the religion as a whole. Even whough I don't agree, I try to assume that religious (regardless of which religion it may be) people have good intentions in what they're doing. Only when things turn sinister do red flags jump up for me. No slight at religion as a whole is intended.
Name one major battle that the religious fundamentalist have won that has a daily impact on everyday Americans?
I can name a lot of things locally. My town continually flirts with "blue laws," meaning you can't buy a lot of things on Sunday. These things include... books.
Or magazines. And I'm not talking porn, I'm talking anything
- Sports Illustrated, TIME, U.S. News,
you name it. Porn is just about illegal in my town, anyway. You can't find a Playboy
if you wanted one. You just about can't get a job here unless you fake having a religion. You can wear any religious tee-shirt you want, but if I wear a Black Sabbath shirt, I'm often gonna get a fight. It may just be local, but the religious people have a lot
more rights than I do, whether that be legal or not.
But part of my concern here is stopping the snowball while it's still nearer the top of the hill. I'm sure that at some point in their history, the Muslims looked at the crazy fundamentalist extremist faction and said, "Ah, they don't have any power, they just make a lot of noise, let's ignore them"... and we see where that's led. These radical fundamentalists know
they're not impacting the lives of average Americans to the degree they'd like, and they resent it... which is why they're trying to do something about it, with these "sleeper cells" in government.
I, for one, will never forget the day when graduates of Regent University crashed an airplane into a skyscraper.
They won't need to... they're working on other ways. Don't you think that Bin Laden would send his guys to work inside our government instead, if he had any hope of getting away with that? That'd be more effective. Luckily, it's pretty hard for him to do that. It's much easier for his idealogical brother Pat Robertson, though.
Let's be realistic here: The power of fundamentalist Christians is extremely limited.
Living in the Bible belt, I have to disagree with that a little. Nationwide, you're probably right, but down here I'm pretty much in occupied territory. They're not all radical, but there are enough that you have to watch yourself.
These are all good points, and I'm not trying to debunk any of 'em, really, but I do have some comments...
-- Let's start with the DoJ, shall we? According to wikipedia, the DoJ alone employs over 112,500 people. 150 of those are graduates of Regent. EVERYBODY PANIC!! 0.1% of DoJ employees went to a fundamentalist Christian law school, which means that the 0.1% may or may not be fundamentalist! I'm hard-pressed to find this alarming. [Source of employment numbers: http://en.wikipedia....ment_of_Justice
Good point... but, like I said, the time to stop the snowball is when it's still at the top of the hill. There were only 19 hijackers in a nation of millions, and they still had an impact. These guys are getting these jobs not because they want to do the job, but because they want to weild influence. And there's 150 now
, but it's not likely to stop at that.
[-- Homosexuality? Legal in every state, thanks to Lawrence v. Texas (and, before that, it was almost never enforced anyway). Currently, they're trying to maintain the status quo by preventing gays from getting married. While they've had some temporary success, it appears to be a losing battle.
True, but sodomy laws were repealled only 4 years ago, in 2003. So it hasn't been legal for long. And some ridiculous things (not necessarily gay, but of a sexual nature) are still
illegal, such as the infamous Mississippi dildo bust.
Doesn't affect me 'cuz I don't buy sex toys, but still... what business is it of anybody's?
Part of the reason these guys are trying to worm into the goverment is because they want there to be more
ridiculous laws like that. They want
to make more things illegal. Like the terrorists, they hate us for our freedom.
-- Abortion? All they can do is nibble around the edges. Roe V. Wade is part of that, but abortion is also popular. The recent anti-abortion initiative in South Dakota-- South Dakota!-- failed. The related area of birth control is ground they've basically ceded.
I don't think Roe V. Wade will ever be overturned, because the Republicans have too big of a carrot with that... they can motivate people to show up to vote in hopes that it will
be overturned. Once it's settled, no more carrot, and no more voter turnout. So, they don't want a victory there, just a long protracted battle that remains useful. The legislative sleeper cells, though, don't see it that way.
-- Divorce? I think even they have given up this fight.
Heck no, they have a huge divorce rate, they don't want
that made illegal. If you ever want to shut one of 'em's "gay marriage would ruin the sanctity of marriage" argument up, just tell 'em that so does divorce, and watch 'em backpedal...
-- Religious displays in public? It's impossible to get so much as a cross up at Christmas without the ACLU honing in on you.
That one's goofy to me. I'm a hardcore athiest, about as hardcore as you'll find, and I don't mind religious displays. I just grit my teeth and deal with it. Athiests that harp on that are goofs... they're just stirring people up and creating a more unified "enemy" by giving them some alarmist thing to rally around.
-- "Family values" in primetime television? Also a lost battle.
There's plenty of family-friendly channels out there, so why that's even a battle is beyond me. I can watch Cinemax and Comedy Central, they can watch Hallmark and the Family Channel and Disney, and everybody's happy. Or should be.
-- Prayer in schools? Not even remotely on the horizon.
This one is the most ridiculous of issues, anyway. For one thing, it's not illegal and never was. My school had devotionals piped in on the intercom every day. And for another thing, since prayer is something that one can do silently in one's own head, without anyone else ever knowing, it's impossible
to make prayer illegal anywhere
-- Women in the workforce? Accepted and mostly non-controversial. Note the rise of stay-at-home dads.
Yep, not an issue.
-- Um...what am I forgetting here? Fundamentalists have lost virtually every major battle. The gap between the world they want and the world we have is rather large.
Like I said, I'm sure it was that way in the Islamic world once, too... so the time to stop it is while it's still small. I'm not
for curbing anyone's religious rights. They're not a right that I personally use, and I'd welcome a day when everyone decides to give up their old myths, but I still think they're important freedom. But, all things are best in their places... for the good of both the government and the religion. Morality isn't even morality anymore when it's legislated
. It's much more powerful to turn from sin when you have a choice
These fundamentalists are gearing up new methods of attacks because they're not satisfied with their level of influence. They're not dumb; they know how to work the system. But their plans are entirely self-serving. They don't mean any good for anyone except themselves and the people who conform to their rules. And this is just the start of things.
If they really had a good product, people would come to it without it being forced on them. That hasn't worked, so they're finding other, sneakier methods to get the power they want. It's the same way Bin Laden's people work, with the same goals. They just have the luxury of access and a greater degree of trust, so they don't need to crash planes, luckily. Their methods are less alarming, and thereby more effective, because people are content to shrug them off. The goals are the same, though; theocracy. And a Christian theocracy would not be any more beneficial to us than the Islamic theocracies have been to the Middle East.